The Bird Level
A proposed student recreation center at Indiana State University moved one step closer to reality Thursday following action by the university's governing board.
The Board of Trustees approved the schematic design, budget and funding plan, and authorized the university's administration to seek state approval to construct a more than 107,000-square-foot complex on the north side of the Indiana State campus adjacent to Cunningham Memorial Library.
The two-story complex would include facilities for general student fitness and recreation, multi-purpose meeting and activity space, wellness and lifestyle education programming, and recreational and intramural sports.
Plans prepared by Hastings & Chivetta Architects, Inc. of St. Louis include a three-court gymnasium and a multi-activity court with a durable surface suitable for such activities as soccer and roller hockey. Plans also call for a leisure aquatics facility, jogging track, climbing wall, fitness center, spinning room, two multi-purpose rooms, student lounge, juice bar, and outdoor recreation yard. The facility would be constructed of red brick and limestone to complement other nearby campus buildings.
"This really is a milestone for the university. The student recreation center will have a dramatic impact on university life in so many ways," Board of Trustees President Michael Alley said.
"A recreation center can promote healthy lifestyles, provide a place to relieve stress and help students to succeed. Modern recreation centers serve as major hubs on campus and can help recruit and retain students," said Tom Ramey, vice president for student affairs.
"This is an important project, both in terms of improving student life and in meeting our stated goal to foster a holistic student approach to higher education," said Hobart Scales, Student Government Association president. "In my four years of service to Indiana State University, I have never been more excited about a project or issue."
In a referendum last year, Indiana State students endorsed the recreation center by a margin of more than two-to-one, Scales noted.
Total cost of the project is estimated at $24 million, with $5.5 million from private sources and the remaining funds to come from a dedicated student fee of up to $120 per semester beginning fall 2006.
In other action Thursday, trustees approved an approximate 6 percent increase in room and board rates for 2006-07.
The rate for students with less than 56 credit hours (generally freshmen and sophomores) will be $6,294.08 per year. Rates for upper class residence hall students will, as in the past, remain frozen at their sophomore level as long as sufficient academic progress is shown. The rate for students with 56-86 credit hours will be $5,937.76 and the rate for students with 87 hours or more will be $5,615.10.
Rates at other four-year universities in Indiana with comparable meal plans are 4 percent to 21 percent higher than at Indiana State.
Trustees also authorized the Division of Student Affairs to enter into a five-year agreement with Nelligan Sports Marketing, Inc. to serve as the university's agent, focusing on national and regional advertisers.
Nelligan will serve as the university's agent in marketing various opportunities to corporate advertisers, including audio and video messaging at sporting events, signs, advertising, ticket and promotional packages and event sponsorships.
Nelligan will split with the university any revenues beyond those currently generated by Indiana State's in-house marketing efforts. The company will be responsible for all operating expenses and the university will retain full control over which contracts to enter into, Ramey said.
"We will maintain a staff commitment to preserving relationships with our local advertisers and friends," Ramey said.